Benson at the World of Color Premiere Disney California Adventure
|Born||Jodi Marie Marzorati
October 10, 1961
Rockford, Illinois, United States
|Occupation||Actress, voice actress, singer|
|Spouse(s)||Ray Benson (1984-present)|
|Children||McKinley Benson (b. January 1999)
Delaney Benson (b. June 2001)
|Awards||Disney Legend (2011)|
Jodi Benson (born October 10, 1961) is an American actress, voice actress, and soprano singer. She is best known for providing both the speaking and the singing voice of Disney's Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid and its sequels. Benson voiced the character Barbie in the 1999 movie Toy Story 2, the 2010 Academy Award winning movie Toy Story 3 and the Toy Story Toon Hawaiian Vacation. For her contributions to the Disney company, Benson was named a Disney Legend in 2011.
JODI BENSON is honored and blessed to be a recipient of The Disney Legends Award having served the company for over 27 amazing years. Ms. Benson has received worldwide recognition and critical acclaim as the beloved, original voice of Ariel in the Academy Award®-winning Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film “The Little Mermaid,” and continues to bring life to Ariel as well as the bubbly voice of “Barbie” in Disney/Pixar’s Best Picture Golden Globe winner "Toy Story 2” and Academy Award winner “Toy Story 3.” She also gave voice to the spirited “Weebo” in Disney’s live action “Flubber,” starring Robin Williams. For Warner Bros., she created the vibrant voice of “Thumbelina,” a Don Bluth animated feature with songs by Barry Manilow. Jodi's other projects include "Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings", “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning,” “The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea,” “Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure (voice of Lady),” “101 Dalmatians II” Patch’s London Adventure (Anita),” “Balto: Wolf Quest (Jenna),” and “Balto III: Wings of Change.” She appeared as Patrick Dempsey’s assistant Sam, in Disney’s live-action feature film “Enchanted”––as a real person with legs!
Benson received nominations for the Tony® Award and Helen Hayes Award for Best Actress in a Musical for creating the starring role of Polly Baker in the Tony Award-winning George and Ira Gershwin musical “Crazy For You.” Other Broadway credits include creating the starring role of Doria Hudson in the Howard Ashman-Marvin Hamlisch musical “Smile,” Betty Bursteter in Cy Coleman’s “Welcome to the Club” and Virginia in Kenny Ortega’s “Marilyn: An American Musical.” Internationally, Benson has had the honor of sharing the stage with her husband, Ray Benson, in the European premiere of the Gershwins’ “My One and Only” starring as Miss Edythe Herbert. In Los Angeles, Benson starred as Bunny in the critically acclaimed Reprise/UCLA production of “Babes in Arms,” Nellie Forbush in “South Pacific” (Pasadena Civic), Flora in “Flora the Red Menace” (Pasadena Playhouse), Ado Annie in “Oklahoma!” (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion), Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady (Alex Theater) and as Florence Vassey in “Chess” (Long Beach Civic Light Opera) for which she won the Drama-Logue Award for Best Actress.
Benson can be heard on over a dozen recordings and has a 6-part DVD series entitled “Baby Faith” from the creators of “Baby Einstein.” Her animated TV series include the hit Emmy Award winning “Camp Lazlo” for the Cartoon Network, “The Little Mermaid,” “Batman Beyond,” “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy,” “The Wild Thornberrys,” “Barbie,” “Hercules: Zero to Hero”, “P.J. Sparkles,” and the new series "Sofia The First" for Disney as well as many others.
On the concert stage, Benson has performed as a concert soloist with symphonies all over the world, including The Boston Pops, The Philly Pops (conductor: Peter Nero), The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (conductor: John Mauceri), The National Symphony (conductor: Marvin Hamlisch), Cleveland, Dallas, Tokyo, San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies, to name a few. She starred in the Kennedy Center Honors for Ginger Rogers, and in “Disney’s Premiere in Central Park with Pocahontas,” “The Walt Disney World 25th Anniversary Spectacular” and “Disney’s 100 Years of Magic.” Benson is honored to be the resident guest soloist for the Walt Disney Company/Disney Cruise Line and ambassador for feature animation. Jodi gives thanks to God for her loving husband, Ray, and her amazing children, son, McKinley and daughter, Delaney.
Benson's Broadway credits include a starring role in the Broadway musical Smile, where she introduced a song called "Disneyland". Howard Ashman, the lyricist of Smile, would go on to write the lyrics for The Little Mermaid. Benson also sings "Disneyland" on a compilation CD called Unsung Musicals. In 1989, Benson appeared in the Broadway musical, Welcome to the Club, alongside Samuel E. Wright, who performed the voice for Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid.
In 1992, Benson received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Polly Baker in Crazy For You. She played the narrator in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1998.
She was at the 2012 SYTA conference singing her signature song Part of Your World on Monday, August 27, 2012.
Benson has been the guest artist for the Candlelight Processional for 5 years at Walt Disney World including December 10–13, 2012.
Jodi joined "2013 Spring Pops" on May 14–15, 2013 as a guest soloist with the infamous Boston Pops.
Movies, TV and home video/DVD
- 1984 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (voice) - Lastelle's Mother (2004 Disney Dub)
- 1989 The Little Mermaid (voice) - Princess Ariel, "Vanessa"
- 1990 Disney Sing Along Songs: Under the Sea (voice, archive footage) - Princess Ariel
- 1991 Pirates of Dark Water TV Series (voice) - Tula
- 1992 Dance Workout with Barbie Video (voice) - Barbie
- 1992 P. J. Sparkles (voice) - P. J. (1988 Mattel)
- 1992 The Little Mermaid TV Series (voice) - Princess Ariel
- 1993 Disney Sing Along Songs: Friend Like Me (voice, archive footage) - Princess Ariel
- 1994 Disney Sing Along Songs: Circle of Life (voice, archive footage) - Princess Ariel
- 1994 Thumbelina (voice) - Thumbelina
- 1995 Mickey's Fun Songs: Beach Party at Walt Disney World (voice, live action) - Princess Ariel
- 1996 Guideposts Junction, a six-part Christian video series for children - Herself
- 1997 Flubber (voice) - Weebo
- 1997 A Christmas Carol (voice) - Belle
- 1998 Blablaland - Lola Pesto
- 1998 The Mighty Kong (voice) - Ann Darrow
- 1998 Hercules TV Series (voice) - Helen of Troy
- 1999 Toy Story 2 (voice) - Barbie
- 1999 Hercules: Zero to Hero (voice) - Helen of Troy
- 2000 Batman Beyond (voice) - Aquagirl ("The Call" Parts 1 and 2)
- 2000 The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (voice) - Princess Ariel
- 2000 Joseph: King of Dreams (voice) - Asenath
- 2001 House of Mouse TV Series (voice) - Princess Ariel/Belle
- 2001 Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (voice) - Lady (Segment "Pidge")
- 2001 Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed In at the House of Mouse (voice) - Princess Ariel
- 2001 Balto II: Wolf Quest (voice) - Jenna
- 2001 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy - The Blue Fairy, Additional Voices
- 2002 Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa (voice) - Lenee
- 2003 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure (voice) - Anita
- 2003 K10C: Kids' Ten Commandments (voice) - Leila and Martha
- 2003 Mickey's PhilharMagic (voice) (uncredited) - Princess Ariel
- 2004 Balto III: Wings of Change (voice) - Jenna
- 2005 Camp Lazlo (voice) - Patsy Smiles, Ms. Jane Doe, Almondine
- 2007 The Save-Ums (voice) - Cloe
- 2007 Enchanted - Sam
- 2008 The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning (voice) - Princess Ariel
- 2010 Toy Story 3 (voice) - Barbie
- 2011 The Little Engine That Could (voice) - Jillian
- 2011 Hawaiian Vacation (voice) - Barbie
- 2012 Secret of the Wings (voice) - Healing-Talent Fairy
- 2013 Sofia the First (voice) - Ariel and the voice of Queen Emmaline
- 1998 A Bug's Life - Atta
- 2000 Grandia II - Millenia/Reena
- 2000 The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea - Princess Ariel
- 2000 Disney's Aladdin in Nasira's Revenge - Nasira
- 2002 Kingdom Hearts - Princess Ariel (English version)
- 2005 Kingdom Hearts II - Princess Ariel (English version)
- 2007 Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey - Princess Ariel
- 2011 Kinect Disneyland Adventures - Princess Ariel
- 2012 Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure - Princess Ariel
- 1990 The Little Mermaid Soundtrack
- 1991 Jodi Benson Sings Songs From the Beginner's Bible I
- 1992 Jodi Benson Sings Songs From the Beginner's Bible II
- 1992 The Little Mermaid: Splash hits
- 1992 Crazy for You Cast Recording
- 1993 The Little Mermaid: Songs from the Sea
- 1994 Unsung Musicals
- 1994 Thumbelina Soundtrack
- 1995 Songs of Guideposts Junction
- 1996 Hollywood Christmas (Various artists)
- 2000 The Little Mermaid II (soundtrack)
- 2004 Disney Princess: The Ultimate Song Collection
- 2004 Disney Princess Music Hits
- 2005 Disney Princess Christmas Of Enchantment
- 2005 Disney Princess Tea Party
- 2006 Ultimate Disney Princess
- Jodi Benson at the Internet Movie Database
- Jodi Benson at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jodi Benson at the Disney Legends Website
- Performance Working in the Theatre seminar video at American Theatre Wing.org, April 1992